20 Jun 2018

WORDLESS WEDNESDAY - WEDNESDAY HODGEPODGE





Cleaning windows of Empress Eugenie's bedroom




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1. Summer is upon us this week in the Northern hemisphere. Tell us three things on your summer bucket list.

Visit different events here in Belgium, going a few days to Amsterdam to see my grandson and family and of course my trip around the Northern countries. Enjoying warm weather and sunshine wherever I am 

2. Something fun you used to do as a kid in the summertime?

Jumping from a barn window into a huge hey "mountain" !

3. Rooftop or backyard? Why?

In the past I would have preferred my backyard, for the kids, barbecues and friends. But now I changed my mind, because there is a lot of work in a backyard. Now I would prefer a rooftop to chill out and watch what is around me ! Unfortunately I still have the backyard !



4. Do you read food labels? Place importance on them? Make an effort to find out/care about where your food comes from?



Not at all ! I have eaten so many things in my life with or without food labels, expiration dates etc, I just eat what I want and trust my taste. Anyway it seems to me a bit ridiculous, because when I am in Belgium they praise the Belgian origin and label, and when I am in Germany, the UK, Italy, France etc, everybody wants me to buy their products  because they are the best .....

5. A song you'll have on repeat this summer?



My cats when they are hungry

6. Insert your own random thought here.

This afternoon I will go with my friend Nicole to the sea. It's about an hour drive but as the weather is like a roller coaster I rake my brain what to take along for 3 days !










19 Jun 2018

COMPIEGNE - NAPOLEON's PALACE

On our senior citizen excursion we also visited the Palais of Compiègne. It was an enormous building !
Built by Louis XV and Louis XVI, and remodelled by both Napoleon I and Napoleon III, the Palais de Compiègne was a centre for court life and the exercise of power. The originality and beauty of this biggest neo-classical palace in France, alongside Versailles and Fontainebleau,  is one of the three largest royal and imperial residences in France.

The 1337 !! room palace, (I haven't counted them) originally built for Louis XV, hosted Napoléon III's dazzling hunting parties, which drew aristocrats from all around Europe.  We could see the the empress's bedroom and a ballroom lit by 15 chandeliers.

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17 Jun 2018

WEEKEND JUNE 17

This was a rather busy weekend ! As there is no Waterloo Apero in the park anymore but now in another place, we decided to do our own Waterloo Apero, and at 5 pm we met in a Brasserie called 421. Don't ask me why it's called 421 and not 22 or another number I have no idea.

We were 4 to try to change the world and the men, for 2 hours and then I went home, only to notice that my man hadn't changed at all ! Neither the world !



Such a little get together amongst women is always nice.

On Saturday morning we drove to Court St. Etienne where the crematorium was located in the middle of a beautiful and peaceful landscape. Mirella our painting teacher's last wish was to be incinerated here.



The building is very modern it was built in 2010 because more and more people want to be incinerated and the Brussels' crematorium had become too small. On the above picture you can see the crematorium and below one of the reception rooms.

There are no religion signs in the whole building, modern paintings were hanging on the walls. Nothing was sad here, to add to the sadness of the family and friends. Each rented room is decorated by the family. They have the choice between all religions or nothing.

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a few paintings I saw



Mirella had wanted a very simple ceremony and it was fully respected by her 3 daughters. The music too was wonderful



She had chosen this song.

After coffee, sandwichs and croissants we returned home, while the family and closer friends had to wait for the ashes to be dispersed on the green fields behind. She didn't want an urn.

On Sunday there was a huge flea market in Waterloo !



Lots of games for kids



and a big crowd ! It was nice and warm and there was a lot to buy ! Nicole tried shoes, I didn't find anything.


Even Napoleon's soldiers did their parade not to the flea market but up and down the street !




 After having walked up and down the flea market, we were thirsty and went into the Café de Paris, where 4 screens were installed for the football (soccer) game, Germany against Mexico.

The whole town is in football (soccer) fever and  is decorated for the  world cup ! I have never seen so many Belgian flags not even at National Day.  The Belgian "Diables Rouges" (Red Devils) are participating  and are in Russia by now. For me it's hard to understand because neither Mr. G. or I are interested in football, but you can't escape ! It's everywhere ! The good thing is that it brings people together who usually would fight !


15 Jun 2018

FRIDAY's FAVE FIVE

It seems to me that I always start my weekly report with the weather ! It had cooled down and it's difficult to dress, because it's very cool in the mornings and sometimes gets hot in the afternoon, so it happened that I changed 3 times per day ! And I am not a princess !

In our painting class we had since the last 5 years 3 classmates who died of cancer at a rather young age just around 60, and yesterday I was informed that our beloved teacher had passed away too, after a long battle against cancer. I am so upset ! Millions are spent to discover the moon and there is not enough money for researches to be able to heal a cancer !



 On Saturday is the incineration and instead of a wreath one of us had the great idea to let us paint on a canvas a little flower and sign it. This "painting" we will put on the coffin.

My friend Chris had got it too, and so sudden. I finally could visit her at home and was a little worried to see her, because she had told me that she had lost 20 kgs and she wasn't a big woman. But I was so happy to see her in such a good shape ! She really looked good of course more than slim, like some models today, I told her she could now work for Dior and we laughed. She still has some treatments because there is one metastases left. But she has no pain and apart from feeling quickly tired she feels good. All good news and I was really happy for her. I stayed for 1 1/2 h and then left, because I saw that she was tired. But we had a lot of laughter together and that was good for both of us.

My Russian Visa adventure continues. Finally we had all papers and sat already in the car. I typed the address in my GPS and this stupid thing didn't find it. My friend tried with hers same thing. I checked again the address and found two post codes. I tried the other one and it worked !! Why having two post codes ?? To be sure about the office hours I called before starting our route, and was told that the office is open from 9 to 6 without interruption from Monday till Friday. Just before ending the call the girl said in a very strong Russian accent that today the office is closed !!

I wanted to check on my computer and what did I see, it was the Russian National Day and everything was closed ! Can only happen to me. We will give it another try today !!

As it was early I went with my friend to the Indian shop she had never seen.



She was delighted of what she saw and bought a few little things to offer to friends.

After the shop we were hungry and had the first mussels of this year ! The national Belgian dish : Mussels prepared in different ways, natural, with white wine or à la provençale !  We took natural.

Two days later we tried the Russian Visa center again. It went smooth until very close to the indicated address. Poor Mrs. GPS had to find ways and ways to get us there because there were street works everywhere and we turned around in circles. Finally we found it but no parking of course and we had to walk for 10 min. The office was on the 5th floor and when we arrived there were just one person at a glass protected counter. Nevertheless we had to take a ticket like in a butchery on a Saturday morning. There were two counters with one French speaking elderly lady with an awful accent which I could hardly understand and the other counter was occupied with a young English speaking lady. Fortunately we had all our documents in English and ready. So far so good. But then she said that we had no statement of our bank that we dispose of enough money. We didn't know that and it wasn't mentioned in the list. I told her and she answered that's because we are retired ! She was very friendly and printed out all bank address nearby. Unfortunately mine was far away. But the girl found a solution, she said my friend could add me on her statement and with a declaration that she will take care of all crimes and debts I could cause.

Off we went to the bank which wasn't nearby and  again full of street works We were in a hurry because the Visa Office closed by 2 pm although it was written that they are open until 5 am !
While I was sitting in the car in front of a garage entrance, there was no parking space, my friend went in the bank and asked for the requested attestation. Then we returned to the Visa center ! I stayed again in the car and Bunny gave her paper. Suddenly she came back with a letter I had to sign, apparently my passport was damaged and I had to declare that it hadn't been damaged by the Russians !

Of course when your passport is 9 years old and has 9 Egyptian Visa stamps in it, it doesn't look very new ! I signed and she returned again. And then came the bill ! We had to pay 126 € (146 $) per Visa ! I thought with the Football (soccer) Worldcup they will become rich  ! There is around a million  of fans going to Russia right now !

When finally we were at home at 2.30 pm, we were exhausted. We had left home at 10.15 am !!




13 Jun 2018

WORDLESS WEDNESDAY - WEDNESDAY HODGEPODGE



The future .... a steam car !





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1. What happens to the mail at your house?

Nothing, we don't get any mail anymore besides invoices, which are paid and filed. Less and less paper fortunately. The snails who squatted our mailbox and ate one invoice, were killed and now there is none anymore. Nothing to eat !

2. Something you always splurge on? Any guilt associated with the splurge?

No, not at all. But it can happen that if I see a bargain, that I buy it (if it's cheap !)

3. There are many, but what are two important questions you think every bride and groom should ask/answer before they plan their walk down the aisle?

Living together at least for a year and then ask questions if there are any. The walk down the aisle maybe romantic but can be tricky too.

4. What's the best advice your father ever gave you?



Never count on the government to pay you a decent pension ! and he was right !! At least for Belgium.

5. Your favorite movie where a father features heavily in the storyline?



Not my kind of movie unless the father is a serial killer !  I like psychological crime stories.

6. Insert your own random thought here.

I have to go to the Russian Visa center this morning and I rake my brain if I have all papers needed. 
Amongst a filled in form, and two pictures (where I look like a criminal)  they request full health insurance certificate, probably because they don't want to pay for tourists. 







12 Jun 2018

COMPIEGNE - ARMISTICE MEMORIAL WW I

..... After this delicious lunch, the bus took us  to the Clairiere de l'Armistice a war memorial commemorating  the armistice with the signature of the Germans that ended World War I in 1918. During World War II, Adolf Hitler deliberately chose the same location to sign the Second Armistice at Compiègne after Germany won the Battle of France.

You can visit four main attractions: the Glade of the Armistice with a statue of Ferdinand Foch, the Alsace-Lorraine Memorial, the Clearing of the Armistice, also called Rethondes Clearing, and a replica of a train car. 


This year is the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War, which finally came with the signing of the Armistice in a railway carriage in the middle of a wood 80 kilometres north east of Paris on 11th November 1918.....

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